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13 October 2014
Health check reveals how glacier is declining due to warming climate
Researchers from the British Geological Survey have taken the very first comprehensive health check of a rapidly melting glacier. Their latest study reveals that their icy patient, the Falljökull glacier in southeast Iceland, has been dramatically declining as it tries to adjust to recent changes in the climate.
4 December 2012
Fiery volcanos seed lightning-generating ice
Volcanic eruptions conjure up images of huge fiery explosions, searing hot magma and charred, decimated landscapes. But some eruptions also create something very different: ice crystals. In a poster presented at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting Monday, atmospheric physicist Arthur Few of Rice University in Houston tied these ice crystals to volcanic lightning, and figured out how they form
15 June 2012
Volcanic impacts on everyday life — circa 1600
Massive volcanic eruptions that spew sulfur-rich particles into the atmosphere can disrupt climate around the globe, leading to cooler temperatures worldwide. Researchers can track the impacts by looking at ice cores or tree rings that record summer growth, but a different approach involves scouring through historical records to see what kind of an impact these volcanic explosions had on everyday life.
Quiet Eyjafyallajökull littered with reminders of 2010 explosion
Three years ago, icebergs floated at the base of this glacier, in the milky water of a glacial lagoon. But in May 2010, Eyjafjallajökull erupted forcefully beneath Gígjökull, causing torrents of melted water called jökulhlaups to surge down the valley and into the lagoon, carrying with them enough boulders and debris fill it up, displacing all the water.
14 June 2012
Volcanoes lessen global rain — by more than climate model predicts
Scientists are working to understand how explosive volcanic eruptions – and potential geoengineering efforts – would affect rain worldwide. And climate models might be underestimating how much precipitation decreases after eruptions.
13 June 2012
Exploring where Earth’s crust rips apart
Þingvellir, Iceland – There aren’t many places in the world where you can walk along a “mid-ocean ridge” and still keep your feet dry. But here the separation of two vast slabs of Earth’s crust—a slow-moving drama usually hidden far below the ocean waves at the bottom of the sea—takes place in plain view.
12 June 2012
Citizen-scientists answer call for Icelandic volcano ash samples
When Iceland’s Grímsvötn volcano erupted in May 2011, ejecting 0.7 cubic kilometers (0.2 cubic miles) of ash far up into the atmosphere, most of the material headed north to the pole. Computer models predicted the path of the plume, satellites beamed back images, but one researcher turned to a low-tech and inexpensive method of tracking the ash fall – cellophane sticky tape.
Volcanic lightning examined through ash grains
GeoSpace is in Selfoss, Iceland this week, reporting from AGU’s Chapman Conference on Volcanism and the Atmosphere. Check back for posts on the science presented at the meeting, as well as field trips to nearby volcanoes and geologic features. Selfoss, Iceland — The awesome sight of explosive volcanic eruptions occasionally includes a light show as well. Lightning can be sparked throughout the eruption – as the ash, rocks and gases …
11 June 2012
Planting trees in Iceland to shield against volcanic ash
Iceland is undertaking Europe’s largest reclamation project to replant birch and willows, especially in volcanically active areas, to help reduce erosion and improve the island’s ecological health.
Potential Iceland eruption could pump acid into European airspace
A modern recurrence of an extraordinary type of volcanic eruption in Iceland could inject large quantities of hazardous gases into North Atlantic and European flight corridors, potentially for months at a time, a new study suggests. Using computer simulations, researchers are investigating the likely atmospheric effects if a “flood lava” eruption took place in Iceland today.